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Social Education January/February 2019

The upcoming U.S. census of 2020 is the subject of a controversy about whether the “short forms” that are sent to all households should include a question about the citizenship status of respondents.

This issue of Social Education offers a rich array of current topics, stimulating historical documents, and research-based findings about the kind of teaching that engages students, develops their thinking skills, and prepares them for effective citizenship. 

Editor's Notebook

Editor's Notebook
Michael Simpson


NCSS Notebook

Revitalizing Civic Learning
India Meissel

It is vital to the health and future of our democracy that we prepare our students for knowledgeable, engaged, and active citizenship. Secondary/High School    

Lessons on the Law

April 1, 2020 is the Next Census Day: Everyone Should Be Counted, but How?
Jeffrey M. Wice

The controversy over a proposed census question on citizenship status can launch an engaging classroom lesson on the U.S. constitutional requirement to count every resident. Secondary/High School     Civics/Government


Examining the Legacy of Wisconsin v. Yoder Using Primary Documents
Brett Bertucio

Should parents’ religious rights outweigh government’s interest in citizens’ education or wellbeing? Primary documents from a Supreme Court case can engage students in a spirited debate on this complex issue. Secondary/High School     US History

Sources and Strategies

Expanding Student Understanding of Slavery in America by Exploring an Arabic Muslim Slave Narrative
Michael Apfeldorf

Examining the life of an enslaved West African man in North Carolina who wrote a memoir in Arabic can broaden students’ perspectives on slavery in America. Secondary/High School     US History


The Bullying of Religious Minorities in Schools: Consequences and Solutions
Ameena Jandali, Henry Millstein

The authors recommend important steps and strategies to help schools and educators reduce or prevent bullying.     Pedagogy/Instruction

Teaching the C3 Framework

The Deliberative Classroom: Inquiry-Based Teaching, Evaluative Questions, and Deliberation
Stefanie Olbrys

In a classroom that promotes deliberation, students practice the kinds of speaking, listening, and critical thinking skills that advance active citizenship. Secondary/High School     Pedagogy/Instruction


Operation TPAJAX: An Investigation into the 1953 Iranian Coup d’État
Autumn Magliocca, Anthony Pellegrino, Joseph L. Adragna

The suggested classroom activities can launch an important lesson on Cold War conflicts, provide contextual insight into Iranian-Western relations, and develop students’ historical thinking skills. Secondary/High School     US History


Pawnee County, Kansas 1877-1880: Using Primary Sources to Investigate Local History
Scott Scheuerell

Federal census reports and diaries from the past offer students a unique opportunity to conduct authentic research that deepens their understanding of their own community’s history.

Secondary/High School     US History


The Braceros: Mexican Workers in the Jim Crow South, 1949–1951
Jarrod Hanson, Ruben Donato

Primary sources on the treatment of contracted Mexican workers in Arkansas in the mid-twentieth century can launch an engaging lesson on the role of race, economic power, regional differences, and citizenship status in historical events. Secondary/High School     US History

Research & Practice

Project-Based Learning in Primary-Grade Social Studies
Anne-Lise Halvorsen, Nell K. Duke, Stephanie L. Strachan

Project-based learning not only engages and fosters development in young learners, it enables them to see themselves as change agents in their communities. PreK-Elementary     Pedagogy/Instruction